Resolving Timeline Issues

Fall in the Lower Mainland: In Which I Don’t Freeze My Tupperware

Posted on: September 30, 2007

Fall has settled in over the last couple of days. Its not cold, per se, but there’s this bone-chilling dampness in the air that requires me to put on socks and a sweatshirt when I get up.

Its the kind of dampness that makes me switch my cold-water-and-lemon in my water bottle for hot-water-and-lemon in a mug or herbal teas (Rooibos Vanilla – yum).

Its the kind of cold and dampness that inspires me to make this:

Lentil Soup

2 cups green lentils
1 head garlic, peeled and finely minced or pressed
2 med. onions finely chopped
1 1/2 T olive oil
1/2 bunch celery chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
4-5 carrots sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
4 medium potatoes cut into 1 inch cubes
8 to 10 cups water or stock
2 bay leafs (remove before serving)
1 T finely chopped parsley
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. oregano
salt and pepper to taste
Vegetable Options
zucchini
corn
peas
asparagus
mushrooms
bell peppers
green beans
tomatoes

1. Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil over medium heat for about five minutes or until soft.
2. Add onions and garlic to stock pot with water or stock.
3. Add remaining ingredients and simmer, stirring occassionally for at least 1 hour.
Like most soups of this type, this one will taste even better the second day when the flavors have had a chance to develop

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It freezes incredibly well. Put whatever kind of non-starch veggies in you like (but saute the mushrooms a bit or they get all sorts of nasty – boiled mushrooms = blech)

I have some beans, parsley and carrots from the farmer’s market yesterday. I skip the onions and use onion powder or dehydrated onions (because I like breathing) and use celery salt, because celery? Yuck.

No potatoes, but I think a half cup of barley would do. And some zucchini, which has been blanched and frozen.

And for those that would like something a little heartier:

Hamburger Soup

1 lb. extra lean ground beef
1 medium onion
25 baby carrots (1 cup chopped)
3 celery stalks
1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
1 10 oz. can of tomato soup
6 cups beef broth
3/4 cup barley
2 tsp.onion powder
Try McCormick’s No Salt Added Garlic & Herb Seasoning or your favorite Mrs. Dash)
or salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
0 point vegetables may be added to your preference: try green beans, green peppers or mushrooms

Cook the hamburger and drain fat. In a big pot, sprayed with Pam, saute onions, carrots and celery. Once they are cooked to your preference, add remaining ingredients to the pot. Let boil, stirring then simmer for 3-4 hours.
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I have made a variation on this with Yves Ground Round and it does work, but I find the texture a bit odd (might be the vegetarian option?). Again, I skip the onion (breathing and all that), add some garlic and a bit extra onion powder and some bay leaf.

If it seems watery when you make it, don’t worry. That 3-4 hours of simmering will leave you with a really thick soup.

Again, saute the mushrooms a bit before because they get all sorts of nasty if you don’t.

Oh, and the recipe above with the ground beef? 1 point per cup.

With the Yves Ground Round, its less. Anyone want to do the calculation?

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Growing up, my dad was self-employed in a physically demanding job. My mom would make what I called leftover soup for him: take the week’s leftovers, throw it in a pot with some spices (no garlic, sadly, as dad does not like garlic), cook it and freeze it. When he left in the morning she’d heat up a container of soup for him, stick it in a thermos, and that would be his lunch (usually around 10am because he’d start at about half-past dark or earlier). It was high in fat, but he’d burn it off.

These were the days when the only reusable containers you could get were Tupperware – the original tupperware that is hideously expensive. And mom was attached to her tupperware and refused to freeze it. So she used old sour cream, yogurt and cottage cheese containers and label them with whatever was inside: goulash, leftover soup, chili, etc.

As a result of the Tales from the Scales challenge, I have a bunch of these containers. I’m not a big fan of breakfast, so the first meal of the day of often cottage cheese with cucumbers and/or tomatoes (liberally seasoned with salt and pepper), or yogurt with some sort of cereal and fruit thrown in. When I make eggs, I throw some fresh salsa in with them (bought at the store, usually in a plastic container).

The result of this, is more accidental greening based on sheer laziness and frugality. Those containers? Pre-measured and clearly labelled as to how big they are. Fill a small sour cream containter (500 ml), and you’ve got two cups of soup (make sure you leave a half-inch of space at the top for expansion when it freezes). Fill one of the 750 ml containers, and you’ve got three cups. And they’re made of softer plastic than tupperware so they’ll expand a bit (just make sure you cool the soup before you stick it in the freezer or you’ll be wondering what’s making those loud popping noises at 3am).

The salsa comes in the largest one – 900 ml (or just shy of 4 cups).

Thanks, Mom, for teaching me not to freeze my tupperware

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